The Newman University 2020 Ford Mustang raffle to fund student scholarships came to an end when the winner was revealed during a small gathering Friday, Oct. 9.
Tickets to win the new vehicle donated by Les Eck and Rusty Eck Ford were sold between Aug. 5 and Oct. 1. Nearly $80,000 was raised for student scholarships during the fundraiser.
Five finalists were then randomly drawn on Oct. 2 and the following week, the university held a small celebration event for the finalists.
The raffle was held in lieu of the 2020 Party on the Plaza, the university’s largest fundraiser for student scholarships, which had to be postponed due to COVID-19.
The big reveal took place as follows:
- Five gift boxes were placed on a table with one box containing the key fob that would start the car.
- Papers numbered one through five were placed into a bucket.
- Each finalist drew a number from that bucket.
- Starting with the finalist who drew number one, they took turns selecting a gift box from the table.
- The finalist whose gift box contained the key fob and ultimately started the car was designated the winner.
It didn’t take long for a winner to be revealed. Kim Lee was only the second finalist to make the attempt and to her surprise and joy, the box she had chosen contained the magic key fob.
She said when the engine started, she went into a moment of shock.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” she exclaimed. “I really had to think about; ‘Okay, the other guy’s (box) didn’t do this. I think this is real.’ And I that’s when the tears kind of came a little bit.”
Lee has two children who graduated from Newman and both were lucky enough to be recipients of scholarships, she said. She and her husband were highly disappointed that they couldn’t be involved in this year’s Party on the Plaza so when they heard about the raffle, they didn’t think twice about buying a ticket.
She added how thankful she is that Rusty Eck Ford donated the Mustang for this cause; “I’ve never owned a Mustang before,” she said. “This is super exciting, thank you so much.”
Les Eck said his favorite thing to do is give back to the community, so when he was approached by Newman for the gift, he was happy to be able to help.
“It’s just a good cause. Good university,” said Eck. “(Newman) provides excellent healthcare workers for the city, the state, the community (and its) surrounding areas. And a lot of good doctors come out of here as well. Newman University is a hidden gem amongst the hustle and bustle of the world.”
Party on the Plaza organizers are discussing a possible spring event. For those interested in donating to the student scholarship fund, visit newmanu.edu/give.